George and Suzanne Busse have a family that is reminiscent of a modern day Brady Bunch brought together by God.
"We met at our church, St. Paul Lutheran in Mount Prospect," said Suzanne, a retired General Electric marketing product manager. "Today, we have five children and two granddogs. George has three children from a previous marriage, and I adopted two children when I was married to my first husband."
As a blended family, George decided to also adopt Suzanne's two children.
"Their dad wasn't actively involved in their lives for a while and they were seeking that type of stability, love and relationship," said George, who is a retired Navy Captain and former partner at Chicago based William Bair & Company, an international financial services firm. "I feel that God had a purpose in Suzanne and I coming together. We both went through the trauma of divorce. But there is always a purpose behind everything, and God's hand is a part of it."
Suzanne told George that LCFS had been important in her life and that, as a couple, she wanted to continue to support this Christian ministry.
"LCFS was instrumental in helping me to build my/our family. I adopted our youngest through LCFS and I've always been very grateful to the Lord for the blessings that I've received through adoption," Suzanne recalled. "LCFS provided services to my son's birth mother and they coordinated the entire process for me. Shortly after the adoption was finalized, they walked alongside me during a difficult time as I transitioned into being a single parent and made sure my son was well cared for. Years later, inspired by his adoption story, our son decided to pursue a career in child welfare and works today as a foster care placement case worker for LCFS."
George and Suzanne both grew up in Christian Lutheran homes and were given a very strong foundation. As parents, they have tried to model the values of faith, family, and service for their children - believing that through these Christian values, their children will continue to serve others. The family has volunteered for service programs both locally and nationally, and has even taken part in international mission trips.
"When you are younger, you think you are going to conquer the world," George said reflectively. "As you mature, have a family and experience the realities of life, you begin to realize that it's not all about you and that your lasting legacy really lies in how your serve others and the Lord. For us, that starts with our kids. And we just hope, that we have laid the foundation and as they grow, they become closer to the Lord and devoted to serving."
George and Suzanne are involved in many ministries but have a special place in their hearts for LCFS.
"Separately and together, we have been volunteering and contributing to LCFS for years. George currently serves on the LCFS investment committee and recently, we made the decision to include LCFS in our will," Suzanne said. "LCFS is very focused on children, keeping them safe and providing them with an opportunity to grow up in a loving and caring environment whether that is through fostering or adoption."
Today George and Suzanne are committed to seeing LCFS continue to grow and gain momentum in serving Illinois children and families.
"We really value the services that LCFS provides. We hope to inspire others and introduce people to LCFS," said George when asked what they wanted to achieve with their philanthropy. "God has given us a mission and a purpose to not only worship and praise him, but to spread his word and his love. I think that organizations like LCFS help us to do that."
If you would like to learn more about how to create a lasting legacy that benefits your loved ones and helps to build and strengthen future Illinois families CLICK HERE or contact Marylyn Rodgers at (708) 488-5557 or Marylyn_Rodgers@lcfs.org.